Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
     Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
SubscribeAbout UsFeaturesNewsReviewsMoviesConcert ReviewsTop 10ResourcesContact Us
About Us

Album Reviews
Concert Reviews

Top 10
Contact Us

Songs from the Second Floor

I would also encourage you not to miss the third in our series of "rebuffs to Hollywood." Songs from the Second Floor, which opens this weekend at the Music Box in Chicago, is a brilliant, Swedish dark comedy that reminds you of what you might get if you crossed Ingmar Bergman and a particularly nasty version of Buster Keaton.

The film is gorgeously shot with spectacular widescreen compositions and moody lighting. And I loved the exploration of religious themes, tinged as they are with deep melancholy. Did I mention the comedy is dark? In one hilarious scene, a magician is performing for a business function. A hapless employee is called up to participate in the box-sawing trick. But this time, as the magician's saw is halfway through the box, the employee screams in pain. The bewildered look on the magician's face is priceless, but even funnier is the fact that he continues sawing. The scene immediately cuts to a trio of magician, employee and doctor at a hospital. On the page, it probably sounds gruesome rather than comical, but the effect of the deadpan cinematography and editing is fantastic.

Admittedly, this kind of thing isn't for everyone (there were walkouts here, too), but Songs from the Second Floor is an exhilarating look into the abyss. And the movie's concluding scene--a long take across a barren
field--is breathtaking. If you've tired of Hollywood's pabulum, here are three very worthwhile alternatives.   

J. Robert Parks 11/2/2002



  Copyright © 1996 - 2002 The Phantom Tollbooth